Bride-to-be Brooke Lowry was on the cusp of the wedding of her dreams when she suddenly found herself single.
Her fiancé had called of their wedding just three weeks before they were set to have a "cutesy couple" Disney photoshoot with photographer Drexelle Park.
“Disneyland, like a fairy tale, is almost like my favorite place outside of this world, and I knew this milestone in my life wouldn’t be complete without incorporating such a magical place,” Brooke told Buzzfeed.
But Brooke refused the cancel the shoot entirely. Instead, the former Disney Television Animation employee decided to do it on her own.
And the photos are breathtaking.
“It was a bittersweet day," she told The Huffington Post.
"What was supposed to be engagement photos turned out to be a solo session because of unforeseen circumstances."
Because the shoot was already confirmed past cancellation, and the outfits "carefully chosen and tailored", she "decided to show up anyways hoping to one day look back on the pictures knowing they marked the end of one chapter and the beginning of a new adventure.”
She also told BuzzFeed how although she was “incredibly disappointed, heartbroken, alone, scared, embarrassed, and rejected,” she remembered why she loved the fairy tales in the first place.
“These women are kind even when others are not,” she said.
“They are loyal and compassionate, inclusive and accepting, elegant and discerning, dreamers and doers. They look for the best in others, they bring honor to their families, and they work hard and stay true to themselves.”
“So, instead of being the cutesy couple out for a Disneyland date, it became the ‘I am a Princess, long may I reign’ shoot,” she said. “Having Disneyland itself as the backdrop was symbolic, too — a place for me to begin a new dream and imagine a new narrative for myself.”
Brooke admits she was nervous at first, but then felt "beautiful and strong, ironically romantic, and frankly excited about what life had in store for me after the last photo had been taken".
“I may not have saved a kingdom, but I got out of bed that day and I walked boldly into uncertainty.”
She also felt "empowered and proud" looking at the pictures.
“When I look back on those photos, I see a princess choosing to have a perfect day amidst an imperfect situation,” she said.
“Women are such powerful, resilient, and beautiful creatures, and you can be your own hero,” she said. “You have the power to find beauty and make magic every day.
"At the end of the day, my former fiancé and I weren’t able to love each other the way we needed to be loved. While that may be a sad thought, I am grateful for the time we shared and the lessons we learned. He really is a lovely man. The slippers just didn’t fit this Cinderella.”
Sources: buzzfeed.com, huffingtonpost.com
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